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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Farm in Blue Ridge mountains (Click to enlarge)
This Virginia farm is nestled near the mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Click to enlarge

"The Danger Of Satisfaction"

Message summary:
Today remember the Lord. And learn the real joy of satisfaction as we secure our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. The right response to satisfaction is always praise to God!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land He has given you" (Deuteronomy 8:10). "When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me" (Hosea 13:6).

Satisfaction is a good thing but it can be dangerous. Jesus warned of the "deceitfulness of wealth" (Matthew 13:22). Paul commands "those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17). We do well to heed these warnings.

Moses knew that praise to the Lord was the proper follow up to satisfaction.  As we praise God we look to the source of everything that brings satisfaction. He specifies "the good land that He has given you". Today and everyday be sure that praise and thankfulness is your response to God's blessings.

Consider the progression in our second daily verse. "When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me." Fed, satisfied, proud, forgot God. I ask myself, where am I as an individual in this progression? May it always be, When God meets my needs I am satisfied and give thanks to God and always remember His blessings.

Surely we've been fed.  Plenty of food for most of us and lots and lots of other material stuff as well. This leads to satisfaction, which is a blessing. But then we have to be on guard against our pride swelling which leads to forgetting God. Ironically this increases dissatisfaction. Instead of being satisfied and content there's just never enough.

Moses warned the people of God some 600 years before the prophet Hosea lived: "Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery" (Deuteronomy 8:11-14).

Today remember the Lord. And learn the real joy of satisfaction as we place our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our sustenance and enjoyment. The right response to satisfaction is always praise to God!

Be encouraged and be spiritually satisfied and thankful today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as we go about the day to day living of eating, building, moving, buying, growing our families and earning a living we must be vigilant to keep You at the center of all our activity. Living for You is to be our main objective so that everything else falls into proper place. As these daily essentials are met we give thanks to You acknowledging that every single blessing comes from Your Hand. The vast majority place their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but we put our hope in You who richly provides us with everything for our sustenance and enjoyment. We are satisfied and give You thanks through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Never Once"  Video  The Acappella Company 

Special Thanksgiving Resources

We offer these resources to families and church leaders
to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will post these resources through Thanksgiving Day here in the USA (November 28).

Thorns"Thankful For The Thorns": A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. (Note: You will need a good reader who should be given the story ahead of time to review so that it's read with expression and clarity.) For many of us the Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Here's an idea for sharing together around the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns"
(printable webpage).

"A Thanksgiving family exercise" (pdf) We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service many years ago. (blog post) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading:
A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

A Suggestion for a Family Tradition from our long-time friend Bob Southard: After the turkey, the cranberries, the pie, we all get out our Bibles to read our favorite thanksgiving verse. From the youngest to the oldest we share God’s Word and tell why it is so special to us!

Possible Discussion around the table:  July 22, 1620 – The pilgrims set sail for the new world and the setting is described by William Bradford in his journal: “So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place for twelve years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and looked not much on those things, but lifted their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirit and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took leave of one another, which proved to the last leave to many of them.”  How would you feel if you were boarding the ship? How would you feel if you were saying good-bye to your loved one?

Suggestions for Present Day Thanksgiving: Preparations for Thanksgiving is time consuming but you might have extra time over the Thanksgiving weekend to enhance your celebration, especially if you have children present, by including some historical foods and activities present on the Mayflower or in Plimouth in the fall of 1621:

Games played by the children during the first harvest festival
– Arm wrestling, broad jump, racing competition, bow and arrow competition. The girls spent most of their time helping moms with food preparation during the three day gathering. If you have a mortar and pestle the girls can mash dried herbs and spices in preparation for seasoning veggies and such.

Food Samples – Some of the food on board the Mayflower was hardtack (ship’s biscuits), dried beef, and hard cheese.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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